[B-Greek] Aspect and Aktionsart definitions

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Sep 11 05:54:46 EDT 2007

On Sep 10, 2007, at 9:23 PM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:

> I've been told that Dr. Wallace's GGBB is used by 75+
> percent of the colleges and universities that offer
> Greek. If that is true, then I suspect Wallace's
> definitions will become the default ones.

Wallace's statement on Aspect and Aktionsart is clearer than much of  
what one can read, but

(a) it wouldn't surprise me if 75+ % of B-Greekers rely upon  
Wallace's GGBB, but the question regarding what these words (as well  
as other terms coined by academic linguists) "really" mean or how  
they should "really" be defined continues to be raised with some  
regularity on B-Greek;

(b) I'm more concerned with matters such as multiplication of  
subcategories of adnominal genitive in GGBB and the categorization of  
them primarily in terms of how they are Englished than about the  
GGBB's account of aspect;

(c) it's not surprising but it is dismaying that many assume that  
majority opinion or how 8 out of 10 standard Bible versions formulate  
any particular Biblical text should govern one's own judgment. We are  
-- all of us -- tempted to cite "authorities" -- standard reference  
works such as lexica, grammars, and commentaries, often supposing  
that by citing verbatim what those "authorities" have to say about a  
matter, we have resolved any problems that the text presents and are  
absolved from thinking through the validity of the evidence and  
arguments set forth on those authorities. A case in point is Iver's  
recent question regarding Acts 13:32-33, in particular the questions  
as to how hHMIN should be construed and the sense of ANESTHSEN in  
this particular text; English translations and commentators pretty  
clearly favored understanding hHMIN with TOIS TEKNOIS (AUTWN) and  
ANESTHSEN in the sense "raised from the dead"; Iver's view went  
counter to "majority opinion" but in this instance it seems to me  
that Iver's understanding of the text is more persuasive.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)

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